It can be confusing knowing which foods and drinks are beneficial for singing. Some things that are great for overall health, have a negative impact on the vocals.
So is banana good for the voice, or should you avoid banana before singing? While this fruit may not be the best choice pre-gig, it does have a host of benefits. As such, it might be a case of when, rather than if, to eat it.
Read on to find out when bananas can give you a boost, and when they may hinder your performance.
Is banana good for the voice?
What you eat and drink can have a significant effect on your singing. There are foods which can improve and clarify your voice. Others – such as fried foods and dairy – are known to irritate your vocal cords. This in term can lead to vocal fatigue, hoarseness and problems reaching your full range of notes.
Fruit has long been seen as a superfood packed with vitamins, minerals and natural energy. We are encouraged to eat five pieces of fruit and veg per day. Bananas, in particular, are great for your overall health. They’re also versatile as an ingredient, have their own biodegradable packaging and are inexpensive.
You’ll often see tennis players munching on them during breaks in play, as they provide a balanced hit of energy and can easily be packed in a kit bag. But sadly, for singers, there is a downside.
Is banana good or bad?
Bananas are good, rather than bad for your overall health. They contain potassium and magnesium, important minerals which help calm nerves. They’re natural beta-blockers which reduce nervous symptoms, such as shakes and sweaty palms – something that can plague performers.
This fruit is also rich in serotonin, the hormone which contributes to feelings of happiness and significantly lifts your mood. By increasing your serotonin levels, you fight anxiety, panic attacks and depression. So as you can see, bananas have plenty of benefits.
Is banana good for singers?
Bananas also moderate your blood sugar levels to reduce your appetite. This is perfect if you have little time to consume a rich meal before a performance. The glycemic index (the speed foods increase your blood sugar levels) of bananas is well-balanced. This means you’ll have consistent energy levels for a long day and won’t encounter any significant spikes which could impact your performance.
Should you avoid Banana before singing?
So should you be tucking into a banana before a show? When eaten in moderation, this fruit increases your serotonin levels and helps alleviate depression and anxiety, which is fantastic for confidence on stage. But bananas’ creamy texture can cause excess mucus, which will make hitting those high notes more difficult.
Although bananas are good for nerves, mood, and sustaining energy levels, they’re not so kind on your vocals. Bananas can produce extra phlegm or mucus which sits on your vocal cords and leads to an unclear tone. The actual texture of a banana is thick, which can sit on your vocal cords too. On balance, there are better foods to choose right before singing.
Are bananas good for singing?
Eating a banana right before singing is equivalent to drinking milk. The heavy mucus it produces can make the easiest part of your song difficult to sing. As there’s a lack of moisture in this fruit, it doesn’t easily glide down the throat either, which can irritate your cords. So, yes, bananas can be bad for singing, and as such, you should look to eat a snack that won’t affect your vocal cord or increase mucus and phlegm levels right before singing.
But that’s not to say you should discount them completely as a singer. You definitely shouldn’t miss out on the health benefits of bananas. Eating one every couple of days is a healthy amount for sustaining energy levels and improving your overall mood. A positive mood and energy are important for rehearsals, vocal sessions and generally feeling confident about yourself.
Good foods to eat before singing
We’ve now discounted bananas as a food to eat right before singing. So what foods should you eat before a performance?
Anything with dairy in it is going to be trickier for your body to break down and should never be eaten straight before a show. Dairy products such as cheese and milk can lead to phlegm and acid reflux. These can get into your vocal cords and have a negative effect on your singing voice. And if you’re tempted to reach for some sweets, don’t. Sugar will stick around in your throat and can also give you a rush that will pass quickly. We also recommend not eating anything with caffeine, chocolate, or butter in it, plus any type of fried food.
But you can and should eat health-giving, tasty options such as these…
- Lean chicken or turkey for protein
- Salads (try adding quinoa or wholegrain rice for energy)
- Nuts and seeds (these can provide a nice crunch to your salads too)
- Raw veggies with hummus if you crave something creamy that won’t clag the voice
- Smashed avocado with vine tomatoes on toast
- Banana-free fruit smoothies (chuck in some matcha for a kick)
We advise that you avoid eating bananas immediately before hitting the stage, and preferably, during the entire day of your performance. But be sure to munch on one now and again. They may not be good for singing. But they are good for a singer’s health. Take one in the morning as a handy, on the go energy-giving breakfast. Or as an after-show snack – bananas can even reduce the adrenaline pumping through your body and help you get some shut-eye.
- Which fruit is good for voice?
Choose something gentle on the throat with high water content. This will help hydrate your voice and give you some energy. Snack on apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, melons or grapes. Grapefruit and pineapple help reduce mucus production, which makes them ideal to eat just before a performance.
- Are bananas good for laryngitis?
If you have a painful throat and can’t sing anyway, a banana may be a good idea. They’re soft, easy to digest and won’t irritate your throat. Bananas have lots of good nutrients that can help your body recover faster. They’re also one of the four foods recommended after a sickness bug.
- Is citrus good for singing?
Lemon is farmed for its benefits to singers when taken in warm water as an infusion (often with honey). It helps clear congestion and clarifies the vocals. But too much can have a detrimental effect, as the stringent acidic content can be too harsh. So keep it in moderation.
Do you avoid banana before singing, or do you find it has a minimal effect? Share your thoughts and any recipes for great pre-show snacks, in the comments below.